Getting Squashed in Your Pack?
Here are some alternatives...
©Laurie Ann March
We often like to nosh on soups
and stews and on the eighth day of a wilderness trip it
really nice to have a side of something fresh and bread-like.
With a backpacking oven I can make all sorts of items
such as pizza, focaccia, muffins, rolls, and biscuits.
But what if you dont have a backpacking oven? Here
are two recipes from my books that can be easily made
in a pot or frying pan. The bannock recipe can even be
made over a campfire.
Basic Bannock Bread
© 2007 Laurie Ann March
from A Fork in the Trail
Makes 4 servings
Many believe that bannock
bread originated with Native cultures, but it was the
Scottish who brought this bread to North America. Traditionally,
bannock is baked on a stick, but it also cooks well in
a frying pan.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons vegetable oil
Mix the dry ingredients, and pour them in a ziplock freezer
bag. Add the oil to the other vegetable oil that you are
taking on your trip.
Add enough cold water to the bannock mix to make sticky
dough. Cook the dough in a frying pan. When the bottom
is golden, flip the bannock to cook the top.
your pan is smaller than 9 inches in diameter, divide
the dough in half and cook half at a time You want the
bannock to be about 1/2 inch thick before cooking. Allow
to cool. Wrap any leftovers in parchment paper, and store
them in a ziplock freezer bag.
Bannock is good to dip in soups or stews and also makes
great sandwiches. Add a tablespoon of sugar and dried
fruit to the dry ingredients for a sweet bannock. Add
roasted garlic powder to some butter and use the bannock
as a base for garlic bread.
If you prefer to use whole
wheat flour you can replace half of the all-purpose flour
with all-purpose whole wheat flour.
© 2010 Laurie Ann March
from Another Fork in the Trail
Makes 46 servings
This bread is delicious
when sprinkled with a little spice blend called zaatar.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
plus 1/4 cup extra all-purpose flour for kneading
1 envelope rapid-rise yeast (about 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil, for frying
Place the flour except for the additional 1/4 cup in a
large ziplock freezer bag with the unopened envelope of
yeast. Wrap the 1/4 cup extra flour and sugar separately
in plastic wrap and the salt in a medium ziplock bag that
has been labeled. Place the flour, sugar, and salt packages
in the bag with the large amount of flour. Pack the oil
with the other oil you will take with you on your trip.
Put 1/2 cup warm water in your cup and mix in 1 teaspoon
of sugar. Sprinkle the rapid-rise yeast into the water,
and let it sit for five minutes. Meanwhile add 1/2 cup
warm water to the freezer bag containing the salt. Remove
the extra flour bundle from the large bag of flour and
set aside. When the yeast is activated pour the mixture,
along with the salt water mixture, into the large bag
with the flour. Knead the bag for 810 minutes, adding
more flour if needed. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and
flatten each piece into a 1/4-inch thick circle. Heat
a little of the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and
fry each flatbread, flipping once, until golden brown
on both sides.
If you prefer to use whole wheat flour you can replace
half of the all-purpose flour with all-purpose whole wheat
Both of these make for handy
base recipes. The bannock is delicious with a little rhubarb
and strawberries that were made at home, dehydrated, and
then reconstituted at camp. Its also great alongside
your morning eggs or your favorite soup or stew. Sometimes
we have bannock for lunch with some cheese and shelf-stable
sausage. When we do this we make the bannock at breakfast
or even the night before. We have a friend who makes this
for dessert but stuffs it with caramel and apples. The
flatbread is easy to make. It is delicious as an accompaniment
to trail salads and dinners like Moroccan Chickpea
Stew from my first book. Leftover flatbread can be
use the next day for lunch with your favorite hummus or
spread. Really, the only limits are your imagination.
article originally appeared in
Backpackers Magazine and has been republished
by Laurie March
Bannock photo courtesy Laurie March
Flatbread photo courtesy Shelley Lauzon